FRASER (WWJ) – As if a sinkhole wasn’t problem enough, gas is now leaking at the site of a major sewer collapse in Fraser.
Crews working Tuesday morning at the scene near 15 Mile and Hayes roads accidentally struck a two-inch pipe that runs off of a six-inch gas main, causing gas to leak into the air.
Consumers Energy says they’re aware of the situation and are working to fix the leak.
“What we will attempt to do first is to just weld a device over that hole and fix it that way,” Spokesperson Debra Dodd told WWJ’s Dave Ramos. “If that doesn’t work, then we’ll probably have to look at shutting off a section of the main to make the repairs.”
Until that leak is capped, residents are going to notice that foul odor — but Dodd says they shouldn’t be alarmed.
“We are getting a strong smell of that distinctive natural gas rotten egg odor in that immediate area. We’ve had some people call in about it,” she said. “It is venting to the atmosphere, which is what we want to have happen in situations like this.”
The gas leak happened on the opposite side of 15 Mile Road from the sinkhole. Dodd says leaks like this aren’t out of the ordinary as crews make infrastructure repairs.
Crews have been working to shore up the ground after the sinkhole formed this past weekend, forcing the evacuation of about 20 homes on Eberlein Drive.
Authorities say the sinkhole arose due to a sewer pipe collapse about 45 feet under the ground. Water, sanitary sewer and gas have all been cut off. Crews have also started pumping sewage into the Clinton River as a way to alleviate possible flooding in homes. Residents in the area are advised to clear their basement floors as a precaution.
The city has said repairs to the sinkhole could take up to 10 months. Residents have been told they should be allowed back into their homes within two weeks, but at least three of the homes are considered unsafe to inhabit and will be condemned.
A state of emergency has been declared. Special funding is planned to be applied to help address the sinkhole and related costs.
In 2004, a sewer collapse caused a nearby section of 15 Mile Road in Sterling Heights to cave in. It created a sinkhole 160 feet long, 60 feet wide and 30 feet deep. Officials haven’t yet said if the two incidents are related.
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